Papa Roach Lights up Louisville’s Mercury Ballroom with Nothing More and Escape The Fate
When the Papa Roach tour was announced just after the first of the year it promised to be one of the hottest tickets of the spring. Returning to Louisville for the first time since the 2014’s Louder than Life festival the show sold out well before the tour started on April 5th in Raleigh, North Carolina.
A full stage curtain with the Crooked Teeth album cover blocks the stage from the crowd’s view while it’s being prepared for Papa Roach. As the house lights drop, a recorded voice blares over the venue’s PA System, “This is a public service announcement, crowd participation is required” followed immediately by the intro tape “F*** Papa Roach.” Chants of “F*** Papa Roach” come from the crowd, many with their middle fingers in the air. In the blink of an eye, the stage lights come on, the curtain drops and Jacoby Shaddix and Papa Roach Launch into “Crooked Teeth”, the title track off their current release.
Capitalizing on the enormous energy in the room, Papa Roach fire off a solid mix of new material along with a number of fan favorites including “To Be Loved,” “Getting Away With Murder,” “Between Angels and Insects,” “Face Everything and Rise,” “My Medication,” “Periscope,” and “Gravity”.
On stage, frontman Jacoby Shaddix is unrelenting, with his long spiky hair and never-ending smile, he pours out energy throughout the entire evening, clearly having a great time. Bandmates Jerry Horton on guitars, Tobin Esperance on bass and Tony Palermo behind the drums are tight as ever while doing their share of interacting with the crowd
Now more than halfway through their set Papa Roach treat the sold-out Mercury Ballroom crowd to a Blur cover, “Song 2,” followed by huge hits “American Dreams” and “Forever” with a bit of ”In the End” by Linkin Park mixed in. Over the course of the evening, Jacoby didn’t spend much time talking to the crowd but he did pause for a few moments after “Forever” to talk about his friend Chester Bennington, the struggles of addiction and being there for people during their times of need.
Papa Roach close out their main set in rapid-fire fashion with “Falling Apart” followed by the anthem-like “Born for Greatness” with the entire room, arms in the air, bouncing right along with the band.
Papa Roach returns for a three-song encore set beginning with fan favorite “Scars” from their 2004 release Getting Away with Murder, followed by “None of the Above” before closing the evening with another huge fan favorite “Last Resort”, putting a huge exclamation mark on an unforgettable evening.
Returning to Louisville for the first time since last year’s Louder Than Life Festival, San Antonio, Texas-based Nothing More provides the main support on this tour. Known for their energetic live performances, frontman Jonny Hawkins, guitarist Mark Vollelunga, bassist Daniel Oliver and drummer Ben Anderson all seem to be in perpetual motion from the first chords of their set.
Touring in support of their most recent Grammy Award-nominated album The Stories We Tell Ourselves, Nothing More deliver a blistering set including “Do You Really Want it?” “Go To War,” “FadeIn/FadeOut” and their mega-hit “Jenny”. Tonight, fans are treated by a surprise guest appearance by Jacoby Shaddix, joining Jonny for ripping rendition of “Don’t Stop”.
One of the usual Nothing More show highlights is “The Scorpion Tail” that Jonny “rides” while creating unique digital sounds. It is an animated structure created out of scrap metal and salvaged auto parts, weighing 400 pounds and measuring 14 feet, creating quite a spectacle. Unfortunately, due to a technical issue, they were not able to perform using the “Scorpion Tail” during their Skrillex cover of “First of the Year (Equinox).”
Completing the powerhouse lineup while opening the show is Las Vegas, Nevada based rockers Escape The Fate. The jam-packed venue is clearly into Escape The Fate’s set as the guys opened with “Do You Love Me,” along with “This War Is Ours (The Guillotine II)” before closing with “One for the Money.”